September 09, 2021
THE Pan American Health Organization is recommending all pregnant women take COVID-19 vaccinations after their first trimester.
This was announced by PAHO’s director, Dr Carissa Etienne during the weekly webinar highlighting regional matters pertaining to COVID-19.
She said more than 270,000 pregnant women have become sick with COVID in the region and more than 2,600 of them (or one percent of those infected) have died from the virus.
Still, many pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers have been confused as to whether COVID-19 vaccines are safe for them to take. Dr Etienne sought to put their fears to rest.
“So, let me be clear, PAHO recommends that all pregnant women after their first trimester, as well as those who are breastfeeding, receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr Etienne said.
“COVID vaccines approved by WHO are safe to administer during pregnancy and are a critical tool to protect expectant mothers during the pandemic.
“And, while it’s too soon to see the impact of vaccinations on cases and deaths, there are some encouraging signs: In Mexico, where pregnant women have been prioritised for vaccinations for some time, not a single vaccinated woman has died from COVID during pregnancy.”
Dr Etienne said it is extremely important that pregnant women have access to COVID vaccines.
“Vaccines have another advantage,” she continued. “A mother who breastfeeds passes immunity to her baby. So COVID-19 vaccines can also help protect newborns from the virus. It is critical that pregnant women maintain the public health measures proven effective against this virus.
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